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Need an assist for a smoker purchase

dave in indiana

SMF Premier Member
Joined Mar 24, 2013
I currently don't have a smoker. I have a 22 inch Weber and I use my kitchen stove. I like to make venison snack sticks, summer sausage, and jerky - but would probably venture out to other smoked meats if I had better equipment.

With snack sticks I need to start off at low temps - like 120 degrees F. and I'm not sure there's a smoker out there that goes that low without a mod or vent adjustment.

So, with a budget of around $500 what would you suggest?

I only posted this in the electric smoker section because it seems to get the most activity, but not opposed to charcoal or gas. I am currently looking at the camp chef XXL WIFI Vertical Smoker and/or the masterbuilt models. But, the reviews are all over the board. I realize this is like, which is better? Chevy or Ford - but any advice would be appreciated.



Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jan 14, 2014
All I could say is I'm happy with my mes 30 after 7 years, just wish I got the 40 though.


Master of the Pit
Joined Apr 17, 2020
Welcome to the boards. Lots of guys here love their elec smokers. I'm sure you will have a TON of suggestions soon.


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 25, 2018
there is not another smoker that will run low temps like the electric smokers and look at the temp range close, my MES is a first generation and it will run 100-275 , have read others have temps up to 375.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Nov 16, 2016
MES is a sausage machine. I think Cabela's might still be running a sale on it for $139.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 13, 2017
I have quite a collection of smokers but if I wanted to focus just on low temp smoking for sausage, jerky , bacon etc an MES would be my choice and you will get in way under $500. Note they also sell a cold smoke attachment that allows you to smoke with no heat in the chamber.

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